Newport Tour Guides and Greeters News – 46: Christmas Season kicks off all around Newport

christmas newport mansions
Photo Credit: Preservation Society of Newport County

If you love the Christmas season, you are going to absolutely swoon over the vast amount of activities we have scheduled over the next few weeks. There are Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, lighthouse lightings, and amazing Christmas parades. So, get ready for a season of great joy and cheer and invite your guests and visitors to come and enjoy one or all of these events in this holiest of seasons in the City by the Sea!

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE PRESERVATION SOCIETY!

 

Congratulations to everyone at the Preservation Society of Newport County (PSNC) on the good news that the organization and its museum properties have been reaccredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).  A national review committee made its site visit to the PSNC earlier this year in August. Here’s why it matters.

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As the museum field’s mark of distinction, accreditation offers high profile, peer-based validation of a museum’s operations and impact. Accreditation increases the organization’s credibility and value to funders, policy makers, community, and peers. Accreditation is a powerful tool to leverage change and helps facilitate loans between institutions.

 

The American Alliance of Museums, formerly the American Association of Museums, is a non-profit association that has brought museums together since its founding in 1906, helping develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and advocating on issues of concern to the museum community.

 

 

TOUR GUIDES TIP OF THE WEEK – WE’RE NOT ALL “GUYS” HERE

The increasing and nearly ubiquitous use of the expression “you guys,” to address patrons, both men and women, attending the theater, dining in restaurants, and most disturbingly, used by guides and cashiers in the mansions and art museums in our own fair city, has reached an unacceptable breaking point.  We are not all “guys” here.

 

How and when women became “guys” is a mystery to be explored in a future longer form platform. But for the moment, we need to improve the quality and style of our respect and hospitality to all of our guests by addressing men and women as “ladies,” “folks,” “gentlemen,” and “friends” instead of “guys.”

 

We’ll explore more about this theme later.

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JOB OPENINGS

It is a season of closing of many of the smaller house museums and shortened hours at many others. There are still a few openings for work at the city’s historic attractions, including tour guides, cashiers, security personnel, and ticket sellers.  This is also a great time to start making connections and seeking employment for next year. Most of the city’s largest tour and cruise businesses accept job applications year-round. Get a jump on the crowd and apply now for 2019 harbor cruises, walking tour guides, trolley driver/guides, and cruise ship bus step-on guide work.

 

Here is contact information for the city’s biggest employers of tour guides and greeters.

 

  • Preservation Society of Newport County. This is the largest owner and operator of historic mansions in Newport. Open year-round. They hire tour guides, housekeepers, and security guards. Check out their web site for current job openings.  Info: newportmansions.org
  • Newport Historical Society. This organization offers the largest variety and greatest number of walking tours in the city.  Tours offered year-round. Info: newporthistory.org
  • Newport Restoration Society. This non-profit operates Rough Point mansion (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Seasonal. Info: newportrestoration.org

 

For continuous and updated job listings, please go to www.whatsupnewp.com.

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NEW LISTINGS AND EVENTS: For more information to prepare you to be the best tour guide & greeter ever, read and learn about the following updated listings and previews of the busy season ahead for residents and visitors alike.

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SPEAKERS & SPECIAL EVENTS THIS WEEK

Check out the wide selection of lectures, exhibits, talks, classes, tours, and workshops to add to your knowledge and increase your understanding of the people and history of greater Newport.

NOW THROUGH THE END OF NOVEMBER — HAUNTED BRISTOL WALKING TOURS – BRISTOL, RI
Join this lantern-led walk in historic Bristol’s shadowy Lanes. Discover Legends, native Indian fables, court trials and scandalous stories. Tours depart every Friday and Saturday night at 7:30 at Bristol Commons State House, 240 High Street. Tours run between 60 and 80 minutes. And reservations MUST be made. Tickets are $15 and reservations are made through 401/286-1209. Cash and credit cards are accepted. Tours will be running every Friday and Saturday night till the end of November. 

 

NOW THROUGH FEBRUARY 3, 2019 — PORSCHE THEN & NOW – AUDRAIN AUTOMOBILE MUSEUM

The Porsche is one of the most amazing automobile stories of the 20th & 21st centuries. Check out this exhibit and learn about the history and current leadership of this brand.  Open daily, 10 am – 4 pm. 222 Bellevue Avenue, Newport. Info: 401/856-4420. Audrainautomuseum.org

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 16 – ROGUES & SCOUNDRELS WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour about some of the city’s more colorful residents – pirates, criminals, and more — leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – DISCOVER COLONIAL NEWPORT WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. This tour offers stories of entrepreneurship, African American heritage and religious diversity during Newport’s colonial period.  Tickets: Adults: $15; Children: $5. 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM. Tour leaves from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and Reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

 

CHRISTMAS AT THE NEWPORT MANSIONS – NOVEMBER 17, 2018 – JANUARY 1, 2019

Christmas Season begins in November at the four big houses of the Preservation Society. Christmas flowers and special decorations will fill The Breakers, The Elms, and Marble House. Special holiday evenings are scheduled at the Breakers on November 24, December 1, 8, 22, and 29th from 6-8 pm. The Elms and Marble House Duet holiday evening is scheduled for December 15th from 6-9 pm. Info: newportmansions.org

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – CREATIVE SURVIVAL – 11:00 AM

Discover the early history of Newport’s people of color, enslaved and free. This unique tour looks at the places where enslaved people lived and labored, along with locations where free people built their enterprises and supported a new local industry. It concludes in the country’s oldest intact African-American graveyard, “God’s Little Acre,” in the Common Burying Ground. Tour departs from the Museum of Newport History & Shop (127 Thames Street, Newport). Tickets: $20. Members: $15. Military with ID: $15. Info: 401/841-8770; newporthistorytours.org

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – SAVE THE BAY SEAL TOUR – 1-2 PM

One-hour tour to view seals on Citing Rock with experts from Save The Bay. Tour leaves from Bowen’s Ferry Landing, Market Square. 1-2 pm. Tickets: $17-$22. Register at: savebay.org/seals.

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 – REDCOATS AT THE REDWOOD – 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The British are returning to Newport! Visitors to the Redwood Library & Athenæum will step into 1778 Rhode Island during Redcoats at the Redwood: A 1778 Living History Event as over 20 costumed interpreters recreate life in Newport during the height of the British occupation. Presented in partnership with the Newport Historical Society. The Redwood Library & Athenæum is located at 50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the building. Admission is free, donations are welcome.  Info: 401/841-8770; newporthistorytours.org

 

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18 – GOLDEN TO GILDED WALKING TOUR – 10:30 AM

Every tour guide should experience one or more of the great walking tours organized by the Newport Historical Society. On this tour you’ll get the inside skinny on the transformation of Newport and its people from its colonial Golden Age to Gilded Age summer colony.  This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19 – ONE MILLIONTH DAFFODIL BULB PLANTING – CITY HALL – 10:30 AM

After 12 years of work – organizing, planting, fundraising, and more planting — the Daffodillion group, led by the indefatigable John Hirschboeck, is about to complete its amazing goal of planting one million beautiful daffodils all around the city. A public ceremony, hosted by the Mayor and City Council, will witness the planting of the one millionth bulb in the lawn in front of Newport City Hall at 10:30 am on Monday, November 19th. The public is cordially invited to witness this event. A reception with coffee and snacks will follow immediately after the ceremony.  Let John know you’re coming or ask questions at: daffodillion@cox.net. More information at: daffodillion.com

 

MONDAY, NOVEMBER 19 – ROAD TO INDEPENDENCE – 10:30 AM

Our city of Newport has quite an exciting history. On this tour learn about riots and rebellions, enemies and allies! Learn about Newport’s role in the American Revolution.  This tour leaves at 10:30 am from the Museum of Newport History, 127 Thames Street (Newport). Info and reservations at: newporthistorytours.org  

 

FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS — NOVEMBER 23 – DECEMBER 29 – HOLIDAY LANTERN TOURS — 4:00 PM

One of those most interesting and inspiring Newport walking tours!  Guests hear the history of early American holiday traditions on this memorable evening walk. Learn how Newporters did, or did not, observe the holidays.

Tour departs from The Museum of Newport History and Shop (127 Thames Street, Newport). Tickets: $15. Members: $10. Active Duty Military with ID: $10. Reservations recommended. Info: 401/841-8770; newporthistorytours.org

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23 — CITY OF NEWPORT ILLUMINATED BOAT PARADE

Takes place in Newport Harbor, Newport. Info: 401/845-5815

 

FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23 — HOLIDAYS BY THE SEA BLOCK PARTY & HOLIDAY STROLL KICK OFF –- BOWEN’S WHARF

This annual event ushers in the season of joy and good cheer. Friday, November 23; 10 AM -8 PM.  Bowen’s Wharf. Info: 401/849-2243; bowenswharf.com

 

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 24 – LIGHTING OF THE LIGHTHOUSE – GURNEY’S NEWPORT RESORT & MARINA – 5:30 PM

The annual lighting of the awesome lighthouse at Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina will take place on Saturday, November 24th at 5:30 pm.  The event will feature carolers, spiked cider, live music in the Regent Cocktail Club, and beautiful views of the Newport Pell Bridge.  The public is cordially invited to attend. Info: 401/851-3366; gurneysnewport.com

 

PREVIEW OF WINTER IN NEWPORT

 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 — BOWEN’S WHARF 48TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS TREE LIGHTING –– 4:00 PM

It’s not Christmas in Newport without the official lighting of the Bowen’s Wharf Christmas Tree. Come and join the community for fun, music, shopping, and more.  Bowen’s Wharf. Info: 401/849-2243; bowenswharf.com

 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1 – HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE — 3:00- 5:00 PM

Newport Historical Society’s annual Holiday Open House takes place at the 1739 Colony House on Washington Square. Costumed interpreters will sing hymns that were sung in colonial Newport. Guests are encouraged to sing along. Lyric sheets will be provided. Christmas in Newport’s official Opening Ceremony and tree lighting will take place in Washington Square following the Open House. Admission: Free. Donations welcome.  Info: 401/841-8770; newporthistory.org

 

DECEMBER 1, 8, 15 & 27 — A ROUGH POINT HOLIDAY – DORIS DUKE’S ROUGH POINT

Rooms of the museum will be spruced up for the Christmas holiday while others will be cloaked in their winter coverings. Together, these spaces tell the story of Doris’s holiday traditions and the off-season routines of one of Newport’s most famous summer cottages. Hours: 10 am – 4 pm. Admission: $10, adults; Children 12 and under, free. Rough Point (680 Bellevue Avenue, Newport). Info: 401/847-8344; newportrestoration.org/events

 

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2 — NEW EXHIBIT OPENS AT ROSECLIFF – BILL CUNNINGHAM: FACADES  

This new exhibit arrives at Rosecliff, December 2, 2018 through March 1, 2019. Celebrating the creative intersection of fashion and architecture through the lens of a visionary photographer, this exhibition explores Cunningham’s project documenting the architectural riches and fashion history of Newport York City.  Info: newportmansions.org

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2 – ANNUAL TREE LIGHTING – HOTEL VIKING – 6:00 PM

The annual tree lighting at the Hotel Viking takes place at the hotel (1 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) at 6:00 pm. A fun evening is planned with cookies, carolers & Charlie Brown’s Christmas featured at this year’s tree lighting.  The public is cordially invited to attend. Info: 401/847-3300; hotelviking.com

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8 – REDWOOD LIBRARY HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE – 11 AM – 1:00 PM

The Redwood Library (50 Bellevue Avenue, Newport) will open its doors on SaturdayDecember 8 from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm for the Holiday Open House. The Open House will feature Christmas carols performed by the Chariho High School choir, a pop-up exhibition of select treasures from our vault, Christmas book display, scavenger hunt, children’s craft and refreshments. All visitors will have a chance at winning raffle prizes. This Open House is a great opportunity for members and the public to learn more about the Library’s history, its collections, and vibrant programming. Free and all are welcome. Info: 401/847-0292 redwoodlibrary.org

 

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 9 — THE BROADWAY HOLIDAY WALK-ABOUT – LOCAL BROADWAY DISTRICT

This annual shopping and strolling event will be held on Sunday, December 9th from 11 am – 4:30 pm on Broadway in Newport. Enjoy local restaurants and merchants all along this vital district. Sponsored by the Broadway Business Association. Info: facebook.com/broadwaynewport/

 

FEBRUARY 15-24, 2019 — NEWPORT WINTER FESTIVAL

Check out the 31st Annual Newport Winter Festival, touted as “New England’s Largest Winter Extravaganza.” the annual Winter Festival will take place throughout Newport and Newport County. It features over 150 events and offers our guests and visitors a unique winter experience combining food, festivities, music, and fun for all ages. Highlighted events include the Family Fun Days, Chili Cook-Off, Mac & Cheese Smackdown, Princess Party and exciting, fun concerts by the Jimmy Buffett tribute band, Changes in Latitudes and more!  Updates and more information: https://www.visitrhodeisland.com/event/newport-winter-festival/39329/

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TWO CURRENT MANSION TOURS YOU SHOULD TAKE SOON

 

SERVANT LIFE TOUR AT THE ELMS: EXPANDED NUMBER OF TOURS!

Considered by many to be the best tour in Newport, The Elms’ now world-famous guided “Servant Life Tour” added two additional daily tour times to meet demand during the summer months.  Tours are now offered at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 4:30 pm. The tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org

BENEATH THE BREAKERS TOUR: EXPANDED NUMBER OF TOURS!

The Breakers tour, “Beneath the Breakers,” is scheduled daily.  Tours are now offered at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, and 4:30 pm.  Tour is one hour. Info: newportmansions.org

 

PRINT & DIGITAL RESOURCES

 

PREPARE FOR THE BILL CUNNINGHAM EXHIBITION AT ROSECLIFF WITH THESE 3 BOOKS

There are currently two new books, both published this year, you can read now to get an insight into the life and careers of multi-talented photographer and milliner (hat maker), Bill Cunningham. Check out the intriguing FASHION CLIMBING, by Bill Cunningham. Also, look for POLKA DOT PARADE: A BOOK ABOUT BILL CUNNINGHAM, by Deborah Blumenthal.

 

Another recent (2017) book to check out is KNOW-IT-ALL FASHION: The 50 Key Modes, Garments & Designers, Each Explained in Under a Minute, edited by Rebecca Arnold. It has a brief but wonderful 4-page illustrated article about street photography with a focus on Bill Cunningham.  It’s succinct, but worth a look.

 

AND ONE MORE

HANDBOOK FOR NEW TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS

If you’re new to Newport and/or new to this field, get your copy of THE OFFICIAL 2018 NEWPORT GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK [amazon.com] to help you become a master hospitality ambassador for our city.  It also lists many of the best tour companies and hospitality organizations hiring seasonal and year-round people here.  Consider working in ticket sales or other support positions at one or more of these tour companies. It will give you some visitor services experience and make you aware of tour guide and greeter jobs as they become available during the season.

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SUGGESTIONS & REVISIONS REQUESTED FOR THE 2019 EDITION OF THE

NEWPORT TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK

 

I am now updating and editing changes and revisions to the content of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook to prepare for publication of THE OFFICIAL 2019 NEWPORT TOUR GUIDES & GREETERS HANDBOOK.

 

If you or your organization has updated phone, numbers, web sites, social media pages, job opportunities, special events scheduled, or other information that would be helpful to the current and future corps of tour guides, greeters, and volunteers working in the Greater Newport County tourism and hospitality industries, please send them to me directly at kennethproudfoot@hotmail.com; or by mail to Kenneth Proudfoot, P.O. Box 231, Newport, RI 02840.  Thank you!

 

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KENNETH PROUDFOOT, a Newport Tour Escort and Guide, is the author of The Official 2018 Newport Tour Guides & Greeters Handbook (Shoreline Press (RI), 2017).

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Chris Electric